'Soap bubble' OHSU tram cabins head for Portland

'Soap bubble' OHSU tram cabins head for Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. - Photos from Switzerland are giving Portland residents a sneak peek at the tram carriages that will carry passengers riding the new OHSU tram.

The carriages, hand-made in Switzerland, are due to arrive in Portland on October 18.

The Portland Office of Transportation and OHSU released photos and information about the tram 'cabins' on Wednesday.

The email says the design of the two cabins conforms to the architect's vision of 'a soap bubble in the sky.'

Each cabin weighs 13,195  pounds and has a carrying capacity of 13,260 pounds, for a total loaded weight of just over 13 tons.

They measure 11 feet wide by 25 feet long and a single cabin can transport a maximum of 78 standing passengers at once. Passengers in wheelchairs, with bicycles or other large items may reduce capacity.

The cabins will take three minutes to travel the 3,300 feet between the two tram terminals located at OHSU and the waterfront station, and the system is designed to pick up passengers every five minutes.

Art Pearce with the Portland Office of Transportation told KATU.com that the system is designed with high capacity in mind to accommodate growing ridership as the waterfront area develops.

The tram project is expected to reach completion in December, and public ridership should begin in January.